Jane Matthews | Stuff
It’s the region where craft beer is said to have first been brewed, is home to a number of award-winning breweries, and is about to host its first big-scale beer festival.
The Taranaki Beer Festival will take place at New Plymouth’s TSB Stadium on Friday and Saturday, with 35 local and nation breweries showing off between 130-150 beverages.
“It’ll be cool to see this here – the market’s here, the opportunity’s here,” promoter and organiser Brett Cursons said. “Craft beer has really taken off, and it’s good for the region.”
The event has been a long time coming. It was set to take place at the beginning of April but Covid-19 restrictions stopped it in its tracks.
Cursons said he breathed a sigh of relief that it would be all go this weekend.
“It’s quite cool to see something happening,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll make it an annual thing.”
He and festival manager Emma Puletaha said this was the first time a beer event “of this scale” had taken place in Taranaki.
Cursons said there would be a mixture of all craft beers this weekend, from hazys, “which are big at the moment”, to seasonal winter dark beers.
And while craft beer is the main item on the menu, there will also be ciders, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks on offer.
“There’s something for everyone,” Puletaha said.
People can buy tickets, and then have the option of buying 75 millilitre tasters, or 250ml drinks, from any of the breweries.
Taranaki band The Slacks will be playing both days, there will be games, including a keg lift, and plenty of bites to eat on offer in the “food village” outside the stadium.
While tickets were selling “really well”, the pair said they expected more would be snatched up this week as they could fit about 2500 people each day.
Cursons warned people would feel “foamo” – a beer play on words of ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) – if they didn’t head along.
“It’ll be good.”